I have to say I think I almost predicted this whole trick flashback/forward thing a few weeks ago. Around halfway through, I figured that there was some wool being pulled over people’s eyes and that the off-island activities of Jin and Sun around various childbirths would not play out as straightforward as they seemed to be doing. As I said about the beginning of Juliet-centric ‘The Other Woman’, they’re really playing with the format and expectation from the viewers. Is it past, or future? Is she/he part of the Oceanic 6? All very exciting. There were little hints throughout... The Flatscreen TV in Suns room showing Nikki in ‘Expose’ in contrast to Jin’s shitty 2000 mobile phone. Also, Jin’s behaviour. Did no-one else think as he threatened the cab driver that drove off with his giant Panda that if this is really post-island he’s kind of turned into a dick?
I don’t think it was tricking the audience though to pull the old switcheroo in the final scene. It’s exactly the same device they used in the first flashforward with Jack, it’s just they have to go further to disguise it as the audience gets more savvy. It was worth it, a big punch in the emotional gut when you realise that Jin is dead in the future (present, or, in actual fact, our ‘past’.) It’s one thing to have a character die in the current on-island timeline, but there’s something hopeless about knowing someone’s inevitable fate. Does he die as one of the 2 of the supposed 8 who escape the island? Will it actually occur on island quite soon?
Also, we have a timeline for when they get off the island. Within 3 weeks, or Sun would have died. And we have a good idea of when this flashback took place from the duration of a pregnancy, Mid-2005.
He’s dead though. There’s no way they’re going to that grave to show him the baby if it’s just a symbol and he’s actually still on the island. Yes, the headstone listed his death as September 22nd 2004, the day of the crash, and so there is some element of covering up, but if Jin is not buried in that grave I simply don’t think his widowed wife would go to it in order to communicate with him in some spiritual manner. Surely Hurley and her would have gone to the beach and spoken out to the open sea? And certainly less need to wear giant ridiculous suits...
Oh, and Michael is on the boat. But we knew that.